Welcome to 2016! The world is changing faster than ever but leadership remains the X factor of sustained prosperity. The best leaders are visionary, competent and values-driven. They place people before profit and integrity before friendship. They are always on a mission to serve a cause greater than themselves and amidst all the fads and noise coming in 2o16, leadership will remain a timeless touchstone for success.
As technology continues to accelerate at break-neck speed it will both threaten jobs and create opportunities. Distractions and gimmicks will abound but here’s what won’t change in business – the importance of leading with high value relationships.
All commerce is done at the speed of trusted relationships.
Will 2016 be your break-out year as an entrepreneur, manager or leader? How will you leverage technology, networks and social platforms to accelerate your success and create greater value for your employer, shareholders and customers?
Things change for the better when we do.
Make this the year you embrace the law of reciprocity. Whether you subscribe to the principles of sowing and reaping, or believe in karma, or the reality that we attract what we radiate, or the golden rule of do unto others; it all boils down to one thing – YOU need to be a generous person of value and good will.
We must be worthy of the success we seek.
Every leader must sell their ideas along with they product, service or solution. Personally commit to The Sales Professional’s Oath here by hitting the like button. Then cut-n-paste the following and adapt to be your own affirmation; print it and stick it up on the wall at you desk. Read it every day – make it part of who you are.
The Sales Professional’s Oath
- I am a loyal person of integrity and positive influence. I am values-driven and make a difference with a sense of purpose in all that I do. I lead by listening and serving others. I have an optimistic attitude and gossip has no place in my life. I do what is in the best interests of my client and my employer. I will do no harm – no lies, no half-truths, and no duplicity. I am transparent in my motives and values as I do what it takes to deliver for those I serve.
- I open powerfully by not talking about myself. I positively challenge the status quo and believe in the value I offer. I am a subject-matter expert and problem solver, always diagnosing fully before prescribing solutions. I know exactly what a well qualified potential employer or customer looks like and I seek strong cultural alignment in choosing those with whom I work.
- I always lead with ‘why?’ and I get to the point by starting at the end but with context before detail. I am concise yet connect emotion with logic and provide credible facts to support any assertion. I am masterful at telling relevant powerful true stories and only after the ‘why?’ is established, do I discuss the who, when, what and how. The last thing I discuss is my product, service or solution; or who we are and how we operate.
- I talk the language of leadership – positive outcomes and managing risk. I talk the language of business – delivering financial results and KPIs. I talk the language of legacy –sustained change that makes a difference in the lives of customers and staff. I am positive yet conservative and I possess gravitas in how I operate – energetic yet never in a rush.
- I treasure time and use it wisely, investing it rather than wasting it. I distinguish between the urgent and the important. I build quality relationships of trust, online and in the physical world. I research and prepare for meetings; especially with the insightful questions that I plan to ask.
- I am always early, have an agenda and am fully there for people when I am with them. I actively listen, take notes and follow-up in writing. I document and validate the customer’s critical events, dates, timing, approval and procurement before forecasting.
- I thoughtfully build my brand and network, embracing social platforms to be a positive contributor. I carefully choose those I follow and I happily promote others who I believe in. I share and collaborate well with others.
- I am the best employee my boss has in the team – positive, reliable, and professional. I make things happen and deliver results but I also care about people. I always deliver on every promise, big or small. I am rock-solid reliable. I keep our systems up-to-date and I provide accurate and timely data so those above me can make informed decisions.
- I am a life-long learner and I read a minimum of one hour every day from leaders online and one book a month to improve myself personally and professionally.
- I pursue meaning and purpose rather than entertainment and happiness. But I never take myself too seriously and I have a well-honed positive sense of humor.
Could 2016 be the year for you where personal leadership and professionalism becomes the hallmark of execution, internally and with customers? Be the change that your world needs. Great execution is more important than strategy. How will you execute the plays this year? How will you eliminate distractions and make a difference? How will you transform the way you lead? Here’s what I’ve learned about leadership over three decades.